My annual summer pedicure photo is long overdue. I know, I KNOW! Those photos look the same every.single.year. Some variation of blue toenails with water and/or sand. Here it is anyway.
Yes. I am officially on the DL. I don't want to talk about it, but I do. Talk: yes. Type? No. Call me.
One of those toe(nail)s is not like the others.....
Another toenail bites the dust. That toenail has no integrity left. The number of infections and losses that toenail has sustained has me wondering why on earth it ever grows back again. The indominable spirit of the big toe and its nail. I didn't do too bad a job of painting it on (yes I did my own pedicure, not taking any chances with the compromised toenail), it has been bare and only just partially grown in for weeks, while the other nails had been painted so it stuck out like a sore thumb big toe. Now when I look down at my sandled feet (and ignore the swelling of the ankle, probably shouldn't be wearing the flip-flops) I smile a little.
Knitting. Still working on the blue shawl. I have taken a bit of contract work, more than I should have, so things might not move as quickly as I will want them to, but I am working on stuff and will share what I can. I also started an afghan and I have a LOT to say about it. Rather, a lot of knitterly drama has ensued and I'll have to share.
It all started when I saw the pattern for picnic (ravelry link), an afghan of squares knitted in Rowan Denim. I resisted for a short while for two reasons. My wrists hate knitting cotton and to knit this baby in Rowan Denim is a significant financial investment (it takes something like 70ish balls of yarn, you do the math). So I just bought the book, you know, to just look at the afghan, but not to knit it. Then I started toying with the idea that Elann Den-M-Nit (no link-that is part of the story) could work at probably about 60% of the cost. That is a number I pulled out of thin air. It might be 60%, it might be 75%, it might be 50%. Whatever it is, it is a lot less than Rowan Denim, I promise. Anyway, picnic calls for dark denim blue, medium denim blue and cream (or ecru or whatever you want to call it). Both the Rowan and Elann yarns are (or have been) offered in three blues, dark, mid and light indigos, but when I started collecting the yarns to knit this Elann had no dark indigo available so I decided that the mid and light indigos would be different enough to work. As I stashed them they looked a little too close in shade, but I was sure they would be fine. That is a detail to remember later as I was swimming in DA river NILE, but I'm going to continue the drama chronilogically.
SO! I had stashed enough of the blues (mid and light-DA NILE) and some of the ecru from Elann and through some ravelry trades (this really brings the discount over the Rowan closer to the 60%. Maybe even 50%!) and found when I went to purchase the rest of the ecru from Elann that they were all sold out and not restocking it at this time. WHAT!? I head over to check the stashes of ravelers and find that nobody has any ecru up for sale or trade. FUDGE! In the interest of keeping you from being totally bored to tears, I put up an In Search Of thread on some raverly groups and somebody sold me their ecru! Yay! Mostly. When it arrived I found that it was the earlier put up of the yarn and it is ever so slightly different from the more current put up, a little thicker. Yes! All of the wrapper information is the same, but I can tell, it isn't exactly the same. I decided that I could live with that and that for as long as I am able I will use the slightly thicker on plain squares and the other when I am using more than one color in a square. Excellent! I cast on.
I chose to knit the squares into strips to reduce the amount of seaming that I will have to do. There is probably a really good reason not to, especially with this heavy yarn, but I'm not changing my mind. (Unless someone convinces me, but it would take a lot, I have some squares finished and all joined in a strip.) Because there are beads involved and I haven't made a decision on those yet (another post), I chose a strip that has no beaded squares and got to work.
I finished the first square (ecru) and started knitting the second out of the two blues and found that my initial instinct was correct. There is barely any contrast AT.ALL. Crap. I have all of this yarn and nobody on ravelry has any of the dark up for sale or trade. Must this shit always happen to me? Apparently, yes.
Longer story shortened: The day after I start messaging a few people on ravelry to see if they will be willing to let go of their stash a person who turned me down was on the alert when another raveler put some up for sale in a For Sale or Trade group. She let me know immediately and I snagged it. It wasn't all I needed, but it was a start. I continued to beg message other people and another raveler kindly traded what she had for some stuff I had available for sale or trade. Excellent! I have almost enough, or maybe definitely enough, but I'm still trolling for a few insurance balls. Breathing easy when nearing the end of a project of this size will definitely be a plus.
So now I am on a roll, but really. Who designs a striped square with a 4 rows by 3 rows striping sequence? Honestly! All of those ends to weave in. My ingenuity kicked in and I decided that since I am knitting on a circular needle that when I reached the end of a stripe and the new stripe color was at the other side of the work that I would slide the piece across the needle and start from that side. Yippee! No extra ends. I keep knitting and then get to another striped square, SAME! THING! With the added twist of alternating colors in alternating stripes. Seriously. I'm working it the same way. This is of course screwing up my slip the first stitch of every row for easier seaming thing, but I'm just ignoring it. BLAH, BLAH, BLAH! I can't HEAR YOU little voice in my head. NOT LISTENING!
IF A CERTAIN PERSON I AM MARRIED TO IS STILL READING (no worries, he rarely reads this blog-I bore him, but even if he did start reading this post I am sure I lost him somewhere around the paragraph that began Knitting) DON'T READ PAST THIS POINT!!!!!
Everybody else can click through.
This next bit is for the amusement of Kim, who I can hear laughing as I type. Remember that Kim, if you had the unexplainable urge to giggle at around 9pm on Tuesday, you were channelling me.
My plan for picnic was to work on it occasionally, a square every week or two for the rest of my life until I finished it someday. Then it occurred to me that this would make an excellent gift for my husband to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, which you have to agree is a great idea. Right? Right. This of course puts a 49 week timeline on the finishing. Eighty-one squares knitted into nine strips of nine, seaming, knitting on border, washing, drying and possibly lining. If I knit 2.5 squares a week that puts me at week 33 leaving 16 weeks for seaming, washing, drying and maybe lining. You can regularly laugh hysterically at me follow my progress here, I'll open the sharing option to all.
Did I mention I have just taken on a few contract knitting jobs? With deadlines? No? Well, now you know.
2011. Nineteen. $9.00. It won't surprise those who know me that I just spent the entire evening writing this post and NOT knitting on the contract knitting. And my bathrooms are clean. And my toenails are painted. And I plied yards and yards on a drop spindle today. Laundry? OH, laundry. I'll go do that now.....